Intake of refined carbohydrates and whole grain foods in relation to risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus and coronary heart disease

J Am Coll Nutr. 2002 Aug;21(4):298-306. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2002.10719227.


Recent survey data indicate that more than 50% of all adult Americans are overweight or obese. In parallel with this epidemic of weight gain in the general population, the incidence rate of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) is rapidly rising. Although their precise contributions are unclear, dietary factors are thought to affect body weight and the development of insulin resistance. Recent epidemiological data indicate that diets rich in high-fiber whole grains are associated with lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and type 2 DM. These data are consistent with results from recent metabolic experiments, suggesting favorable lipid profiles and glycemic control associated with higher intake of whole grains, but not with refined grains. It seems prudent, therefore, to distinguish whole-grain rather than refined-grain cereal products for the prevention of chronic diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Chronic Disease
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology
  • Coronary Disease / etiology*
  • Coronary Disease / prevention & control
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage*
  • Edible Grain*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Risk Factors


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fiber